State v. T.O.

William Raburn Mitchell

Case Conclusion Date:June 25, 2010

Practice Area:DUI / DWI

Outcome:DWI Dismissed

Description:T.O. was stopped at 2:30 in the morning after a police officer observed T.O. strike a curb. T.O. is a college student with no criminal history and a bright and ambitious future ahead of him. T.O. came to our office seeking quality DWI representation to protect his clean arrest record and criminal history. T.O. was very cooperative with the police and to his own detriment attempted to perform the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) that consist of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), the Walk and Turn test, and the One Leg Stand test. Austin Police Officer also had T.O. perform the Romberg Balance test. T.O. looked great on the arrest video during the performance of these tasks but after completion of them, he was placed under arrest for DWI. T.O., in an attempt to prove his sobriety then took a Breath Test at the Travis County Jail on the Intoxylizer 5000 EN and blew almost twice the legal limit. After attempts to resolve the case with the State to a Non-DWI offense and deferred adjudication proved fruitless, this office set T.O.'s case for a jury trial. Prior to picking a jury, the Judge heard the our Motion to Suppress. The officer must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over. Reasonable Suspicion is defined as specific, articulable facts that indicate an offense has occurred or will occur in the very near future. In other words, police must have a valid reason to pull you over, ie. speeding, headlights not illuminated, etc. Fortunately for T.O., the we found case law that stated striking a curb a single time is not sufficient Reasonable Suspicion to effectuate a traffic stop. The Judge heard the evidence and granted T.O.'s Motion to Suppress and therefore the State could not introduce any evidence of the SFSTs or the Breath Test at trial and the state had to DISMISS the DWI.